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GRE guidelines: Everything you need to know about the test to get into US universities

Saikat Chakraborty
Saikat Chakraborty
Posted on 10 Apr 2022
15:51 PM
US universities accept GRE scores for admission to postgraduate courses.

US universities accept GRE scores for admission to postgraduate courses. Shutterstock

US universities consider GRE scores of international students for admission to postgraduate/doctoral/professional degree courses
The test can be written at home by fulfilling the system requirements set by ETS or at a testing centre

GRE (Graduate Record Examinations) is a test for admission to postgraduate programmes at graduate schools or business schools around the world. Indian students generally write this test to get admission to master’s programmes or doctoral programmes at US and some Canadian universities.

What is GRE


GRE General Test is a standardised test held to assess your readiness to enrol in graduate school courses. Some graduate programmes require you to take the GRE General Test as well as the GRE Subject Test, with the latter testing your technical knowledge in a specific discipline.

Who conducts GRE

GRE exams are conducted by ETS (Educational Testing Service). It is the world’s largest non-profit educational testing and assessment organisation, which is headquartered in the US.

Scope of GRE

GRE is one of most widely approved exams recognised by foreign universities for admission to their postgraduate programmes. Students interested in MS courses, MBA courses, professional degree courses or thesis work need to write the GRE General Test as part of the selection process.

Business schools are increasingly accepting GRE scores in place of the GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test) score. A growing number of law schools in the US now accept GRE as a substitute for LSAT (Law School Admission Test) — the traditional law school entry exam.

Foreign institutes, including US universities, also accept GRE scores for doctoral courses.

GRE eligibility criteria

ETS has not set any age limit for GRE. You can appear for the test regardless of your age. The test is also open to everyone. Though you do not require a UG degree to write the test, you need to complete your UG course for admission to graduate schools.

GRE cost

The GRE General Test fee has been hiked to $213 by ETS, which amounts to Rs 16,170 approximately. There are some other charges, including a charge for changing the test centre and a charge for rescheduling the test. Cancellation charges are extra.

When should you write GRE

You can appear for both “GRE at Home” and “GRE at a Test Centre” throughout the year. You need to prepare adequately before you register for the test. The ideal time to write the test is 60-90 days before your first university application deadline as it would give you adequate time for retaking the exam, if necessary.

Types of GRE

There are two types of GRE tests:

  1. GRE General Test
  2. GRE Subject Test

What is GRE General Test

It is a standardised test that assesses your readiness to enrol in graduate school courses. The test is designed to assess your analytical writing, numerical aptitude and verbal thinking skills. You can write the test for admission to MS programmes as well as a few MBA programmes and graduate-level professional courses in the US.

What is GRE Subject Test

It assesses your knowledge of a specific discipline. The test only includes Chemistry, Mathematics, Physics and Psychology. You need to write this paper-based test for admission to specialised courses and technical programmes. The GRE Subject Test is held three times a year — in April, September and October. You can only appear for one of the subjects at one time.

GRE General Test formats

The GRE General Test is available in two formats in India:

  1. GRE Computer Based Test: You need to write the computer-delivered GRE General Test at an ETS-approved testing centre in this mode.
  2. GRE at Home Test: You can write the computer-delivered GRE General Test from your own home in this mode. You can opt for GRE at Home Test as long as you meet the system requirements set by ETS. This format has been launched keeping in mind the safety of students during the pandemic.

GRE General Test curriculum

The GRE General Test includes question categories that are similar to those you'll encounter in graduate and professional schools. Analytical writing, verbal reasoning and quantitative reasoning are the three core elements of the curriculum.

Validity of your GRE score

Your GRE score stays valid for five years from the date of the exam. For instance, if you took the test on April 3, 2022, your score remains valid until April 2, 2027. As ETS itself considers the score valid for five years, graduate schools also accept the score that had been issued five years back.

GRE Exam dates in 2022

Just like other international standardised exams, there are various GRE exam dates in 2022 for Indian students. You can choose any GRE dates that would be convenient for you.

Last updated on 15 Apr 2022
12:11 PM
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